Along with other local music enthusiasts, Banner Mountain resident Chip Wilder and his wife Caryn go to the Holbrooke Hotel on Tuesday nights for “Open Mic,” where she sings along with others. “This town has so many talented musicians,” as Chip observes.
Now Chip has brought the “Open Mic” musicians together in a CD called “A Gift of Song,” and the proceeds will go to Hospitality House. The CD is now on sale at The Holbrooke, and will soon be at other places in Grass Valley and Nevada City.
Chip told me he got his inspiration from listening to Jerianne Van Dijk’s Friday morning show on KVMR. This Friday, Chip will be on the air with Joanna Robinson at Hospitality House about 8:20 a.m. to discuss the recording.
Jerianne invites Joanna Robinson from Hospitality House to talk about what’s going on at Hospitality House and asks for a helping hand for some of the guests.
“Joanna’s sweet voice always makes me want to do something to help her out,” Chip said. “One morning Joanna talked of helping some individuals with housing. They lived in their car with their small children. We don’t have a very big car, so I think of about 15 square feet of floor space when I’m picturing two kids living with their mom and their belongings.”
Chip made a promise to himself to help out. The “Gift of Song” CD has been in the works since earlier this year. One of the regulars at “Open Mic” has a studio in his house, and Chip arranged for the musicians to visit the studio in August and September to record their music.
“Most all of the players have day jobs, but our recording engineer was flexible,” Chip recalled. “I found a CD duplicating-packaging service in San Francisco, but everything else was done locally.”
Chip had heard Utah Phillips’ songs long before he moved to Nevada City, so Chip said it was gratifying to find out about Hospitality House. He and Caryn donate to the shelter, named after the famous singer.
“My experience in my car that morning has led to this,” Chip said. “Joanna and Jerianne gave a voice to those kids living in the back of that car. I heard them like they were in my own back seat. A compass was handed to me.”